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Old 08-16-2009, 05:46 AM   #1
Dimplenose
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Libby's 2009 Trip - Day 1

I’ve abandoned my pre-trip report (well I have been home for nearly a week!) and am going to try to start the trip report itself. I’m going to put in some photos but as my family don’t want to be in the ones I post they may be a bit limited. I hope you enjoy reading …

Trip Report Day 1 – Monday 27th July

The cast
Me (47) a Disney addict
DH (47) a secret Disney addict
DS(18) doesn’t care about Disney but likes to be fed at regular intervals
DD(15) hates flying but will tolerate it for my sake.

This trip has been planned for 4 years and will be our last whole family trip to WDW.

This morning I got up at 5am. None of us had slept well that night. The alarm was set for 5:50 and gradually everyone else surfaced. We just had to dress and grab our bags and I was hoping to leave just after 6. Once we had finally grabbed all the last bits and pieces it was nearly 6:30. At least we were now off – well almost. We’d just pulled off the drive when DH started worrying if had had really checked the cooker was off. So we went back (off course it was off!)



One mile down the road and I had to stop to check that the passports were in my hand luggage in the boot. (They were.)
Finally we were off.

At this point I discovered that DH had installed a new voice into the satnav. So Dr. Nightmare spookily directed us to the long stay plus parking at Gatwick. I know a lot of people are reluctant to part with their car keys but after a bad experience trying to self park our car and not finding a space we wouldn’t do anything else.

We parked easily and as all the paperwork had been filled in online we were very quickly on the courtesy bus to the terminal.

South terminal traffic was very busy. The bus had had to drop us off on the ground level due to road works above and this meant we had to walk against the flow of home coming holiday makers – mostly tanned and wearing t-shirts and shorts while we were pale and wrapped up in jumpers.
We checked in very quickly. It was a bit different to 4 years ago when there was one desk for online check-in customers, this time everyone joined the same queue. I had been fretting about a hyphen missing from my boarding card but no-one was worried about it at all.

Now our bags were gone we could go and find some breakfast. We went to Frankie and Benny’s (before security) as it was very quiet. DH and DS had cooked breakfasts, I had a Danish and we all tried to persuade DD to have some toast (which she just nibbled at.)

We bought some magazines from Smiths before heading off to security.
This was very quick too, despite me being the lucky one that had to take off their shoes (and I was the only one of us not wearing socks – that floor was cold!)

Everywhere inside the airport seemed a lot quieter than 4 years ago. We had a mooch around the airside shops before heading off to gate 13. I thought DH had misread it as on our 3 previous trips we’ve gone to the round bit and watched the planes in comfort. I wasn’t impressed with the “holding pen” at 13. Just a tiny window and no easily accessible toilet (we could only leave the “pen” if we left our passports with the VA staff.) We did manage to see that we would be travelling on Jersey Girl.

Boarding was fairly quick but then we had 30 minute wait before take off. The steward made a comment that we should check our seat belts were fastened as we were about to go “very, very, fast!”

As soon as the seatbelt lights went out there was a rush for the loos – I wonder if that had anything to do with our holding pen??

The seats were the normal packed in economy seats, but as I am 4 stone lighter than last time I flew VA I found them much more comfortable. I could actually keep the armrest down and still use my TV controls.

The teenager in front of me decided to recline his seat but tried to get it even lower. I was very cross when he did this again while I was trying to fill in my Visa Waiver forms, he did stop when I asked him too (after I’d been bashed on the head by his seat!). I have no problems with seats being reclined but I wish people would look behind them first and not keep “bouncing” on the seat.

We were in row 42 so by the time the meal came round the chicken option had gone. I really don’t like red meat so ended up with a vegetable masala.
The 9 seats to my right had no TV. The stewardess tried for a long time to restart them but in the end gave these families an early lunch and then provided DVD players for them.




The flight seemed to take forever but when we finally landed the steward joked that we were in Miami – not funny!

We certainly weren’t first off the plane but using the righthand lane at immigration worked its magic again and we were through very quickly. I was having problems hearing anyone as my ears had popped on landing and still hadn’t cleared.

By the time we had all had a quick toilet stop (I knew I was really in America as I looked out of the gaps in the loo door) our bags were ready to pick up.
We were quickly through customs – the nice customs man told me to say “hello” to Mickey for him. All the officials we’ve met today have been very nice. So different from my first visit to USA in 1989 when we had to stand at a high immigration desk feeling as if we were on trial while the officer checked through a huge book to see if were undesirables.

We stop off at the newsagent to buy some drinks (more because we want some change than because we want drinks) before following the virgin reps to the car hire desks.



On the way we are stopped by an English woman who has been told her sister’s outbound flight has been cancelled. She believed that we’d just arrived on the plane that was her sister was due out on later – I don’t know the outcome.

While we are waiting for our flight we see lots of people heading home from their holidays (the Disney hats were a bit of a give away!) The car hire man doesn’t try to upgrade us bus does try to sell us a prepaid toll pass at Ł10 a week. This seemed very expensive as we would be spending most of our time on Disney property so we decline. (In hindsight I wish I had bought it as we got very lost on one journey and it would have saved a lot of panic.)
The cars were in a different part of the car park than I remember and I felt like I was being smuggled into the country as we were taken through a convoluted route to our car.

The car was black and a bit bigger than an Escort (DH says it was a Saburu Impreza). The luggage 1 big and 2 medium cases only just fitted into the boot.
We had a jerky ride around the car park while DH got used to the car and then headed out on our way. Despite having the Satnav (this satnav that got us from Surrey to a specific car park in Eindhoven last year wasn’t as useful in Florida as we kept being taken along ridiculous routes) we missed the South Exit road and ended up taking us along the 417. There were 2 tolls to pay going this way. The first was $1 and was vey obvious, the second was 75 cents and we had to pull off the main road and onto a slip road to pay.

It was 5:25pm when we arrived at the All Star Resorts. We showed our ID to security and then headed off to check in.



There were no long queues here either and we were soon back in the car and driving to Country Fair at the very, very back of the resort.

We had been given interconnecting rooms but when we tried the keys they only worked in one of the rooms. I then noticed that the connecting door was on the wrong wall so I tried my key in the room to the other side and bingo we were in. It was just what we wanted. I made a quick phone call to reception to check that we were in the correct rooms and they’d just been noted down on the key envelope incorrectly.

We unpacked just enough luggage to change into more suitable clothing and then we were off to the food court.
It was now 6:30pm (11:30 by our body clocks). We picked up some refillable mugs and then went to choose some tea. Pizza for me and DD, hot dogs and fries for DH and DS. The boys were still hungry so they also had cookies and crisps.



After tea we had a look at the gift shop (I wish the Disney store at home was as nice) before returning to our room to unpack, bath, watch TV. We were all in bed by 9pm.



Strangely, after 2 weeks of constant butterflies in my tummy, it’s almost an anticlimax to actually be there. Perhaps I’m too tired and the excitement will kick in tomorrow.
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Last edited by Dimplenose; 08-16-2009 at 05:53 AM.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:58 AM   #2
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Great start Libby I'm sure the excitement will start tomorrow and look forward to hearing about it.

As for the Loo doors i find them starange with the gaps any ideas as to why
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofysmate View Post
As for the Loo doors i find them starange with the gaps any ideas as to why
weird aren't they!

Off to a good start,can't wait to read more!
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:21 AM   #4
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Great start Libby. We had to make a 'passport check' stop on the day we left the Smokies.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:33 AM   #5
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geat start, I loved staying at music, we were in country fair however didn't mind as it's such a small resort.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:11 AM   #6
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Great start.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:13 AM   #7
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Great start! Just like you, I have to check things over and over before I leave!
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Old 08-16-2009, 09:14 AM   #8
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Great start Libby! Usually I get picked to take my shoes off in the airport too!
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Old 08-19-2009, 03:35 PM   #9
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Great start, looking forward to more
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:55 PM   #10
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Your report had me smiling from the start!

Thanks.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:03 AM   #11
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Great start!
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:51 AM   #12
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Loved reading about your first day - looking forward to more.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:31 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=Dimplenose;33179171]

We’d just pulled off the drive when DH started worrying if had had really checked the cooker was off. So we went back (off course it was off!)



One mile down the road and I had to stop to check that the passports were in my hand luggage in the boot. (They were.)
Finally we were off.
I am so glad that there is someone out there like me!!Do you check even thou you know you have packed them but just have to double check to be sure?
I constantly do this even if i am going to a friends house (esp when i use straighteners!!)
Sounds like a great start to your trip!!look forward to reading more
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:22 AM   #14
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great start Libby
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:34 AM   #15
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Great start.

I'm a 'double-checker' too.
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